One of the most fun things about being a parent is choosing the holiday traditions your own family gets to build
We love Halloween in our family, I wouldn’t call us die-hard (😜) but we’ve definitely built in some traditions that my kids ask for years later. How cool is that? I’m building childhood memories!
Are you maybe starting out on your parenting journey with your little ones and looking for fun ways to engage your kids and make things a little smoother for you? We hope an idea or two from this article gives you some inspiration. Plus I’ve got one of the funnest ways to pull your kids from trick or treating and candy gorging to help calm them down for bed.
Pumpkin Patch Fun
We usually try to visit a farm sometime in the month of October to pick out our pumpkins. Now we live in an area where that’s relatively easy to go do. They’ll usually have fun slides and hay forts and sometimes even a hayride. We had a favorite farm for years that I started visiting when my now 19 year old daughter was 7 months old (man that time flies)! They have really fun slides made out of farm tubes and my kids will slide down them for hours. Honestly though, a trip to the grocery store to pick up a pumpkin is also really fun. I like watching the kids analyze their choices as they pick their “perfect pumpkin”. They absolutely get into it and we usually try to take a picture every year to remember those pumpkins that we’ve carved and lost.
Local Trick or Treat Events
A lot of towns like to offer fun events for the community. Where we live, the business in the downtown area like to host a “Trick Or Treat Downtown”. It usually has a good turn out of businesses and trick-or-treaters and the family has a great time dressing up and checking out local shops as a side bonus. We’ve discovered new fun cafes and pottery studios in our area as a result. Another fun event is what’s called “Trunk Or Treats”, usually places of faith will host these. The great thing is this is like a condensed version of trick or treating, you can cover a lot of ground when that ground is isolated to a parking lot. If you find one, you’ll be blown away by the creativity of some of the “trunks” all decked out and decorated. It goes pretty quickly so this is a great option if you are the parents of little ones/toddlers.
Tips and Tricks to Carving Pumpkins
I’ve learned tremendously from my mistakes in this arena. We sometimes are a little overzealous and carve our pumpkins too early and the result is moldy pumpkins by Halloween night. Bless our children and their good natures, because they thought it looked more authentically spooky. However, it could make a kid kinda sad fast and we’ve had a few of those over the years. Now I usually wait until a day or two before Halloween to carve our pumpkins. I’ve had years where the only time we could carve altogether was on Halloween day and that was just as fun too. Regardless, you’ll want plenty of floor or table coverings. I got a clearance plastic-type tablecloth years ago and I just wipe that down afterwards, it’s more substantial than the Dollar Store ones. If we give it plenty of time to dry it’ll last 3-5 years or so. My daughter loves eating the roasted pumpkin seeds and so we usually try to save some for roasting.
Finally, in case you ever wondered about those orange pumpkin carving knife kits, yes they are worth it! It is amazing how much easier they are to use than sharp knives are and they are of course much safer to use with kids around. Bonus tip, we keep pumpkin carving knives around all year round for our little kids to use as safety knives when chopping veggies. They aren’t sharp but they do cut cucumbers, most fruits, and a few other veggies really well.
Starting in October, I feel like parents (and primarily mothers) start to get really busy. Before you know it, it’s Thanksgiving and then Christmas, these holiday seasons start earlier and earlier every year and it leads to a lot of burnout. I used to go all out on this night, making a big meal with desserts. Nowadays I opt for much a simpler evening. I still like doing fun activities and during covid and lockdowns it was fun to play these games at home with our family and some close neighbors. I like to use white crepe streamers to decorate our narrow hallway to look like a spider-web maze. The little kids’ love it as they twist and turn to maneuver through. The crepe, doesn’t last long but that’s the other fun part, tearing it down. My favorite Halloween activity from when I was a kid was stringing donuts up and then trying to eat them without using our hands. It looks hilarious!
I decided a few years back that for dinner on Halloween night we will have chili. It’s simple to make, it’s filling, and it’s perfect for a rainy fall evening when your about to trudge outside. The best part is, I sneak veggies into it so sugar isn’t the only food group my kids consume that day. The thing I dropped lickety-split was making dessert on this night, I love the fall time cookie varieties and pies but honestly, it’s just too much sugar for my kids and my husband and I.
Trick-Or-Treating And The Halloween Bath
My kid’s are usually so darned amped up for this part that it’s a struggle to get them to call it quits for the night, unless of course it’s one of those rainy, stormy and miserable Halloween nights. Even then though, they usually want to keep going. If only they had this kind of hard headed determination when it came time to wash the dishes or the car. Usually the little ones are easily convinced to quit for the night though when I tell them it’s time for what I call the “Halloween Bath”. It’s the funnest bath of the year. It’s also quite appreciated on those stormy nights.
To make your own Halloween Bath you’ll need plenty of bubbles, few glow sticks, and maybe a package of those spider rings. We turn out the lights and the glow sticks under the bubbles make the coolest colors! It makes bath time go from ordinary, into extraordinary. It is a family favorite around our house and it’s definitely helped with the Halloween bedtime dilemma in the past. You can see it in action here below:
@snoofybee #halloweenhacks🎃🎃🎃 #bedtimeroutineforkids #kidsbathtub #parenthack #toddlerhalloween #foryou ♬ Halloween (Halloween) dubious(871158) - Chisato Tsurita
What Are Your Favorite Halloween Traditions?
Now that you know what we like to do, I love learning new and fun ways to engage the kids during a holiday. What are your family's go-to traditions for Halloween? How have you seen those traditions evolve, especially with growing children? Send us a comment and I’d love to hear feedback! In the meantime, Happy Haunting, I mean Halloween!
-Amy Perry, mom of 6 kids and owner of SnoofyBee LLC